Saturday, March 7, 2009

Stinco di Vitello (Veal Shin Roast)

This is what's known as "lo stinco di vitello" in Italy. Here in the states, it's known as a veal shin roast. In either language, it's succulent and delicious.

This one was prepared by my friend Cristina De Micheli on our recent trip to Italy. Cristina lives in Piacenza with her husband Stefano Consonni, and their three charming sons, Francesco, Federico and Filippo.

The stinco was served after a wonderful platter of affettati (sliced cold meats), anolini in brodo (small ravioli-like pastas in broth that are a specialty of Emilia-Romagna,) and a couple of quiche-like vegetable tarts. We also ate roasted and stuffed chicken, vegetables, salad and tiramisu and macedonia (fruit salad) for dessert. It was all memorable and no one walked away hungry for sure.

Cristina was kind enough to send me her recipe for the stinco, which I am sharing with you here. In fact, if MaryAnn of "Finding La Dolce Vita," and Marie of "Proud Italian Cook" don't mind, I'm taking the liberty of inviting Cristina and her stinco to the virtual "Festa Italiana" they are hosting.
I don't want to come empty-handed though, so I'll bring along an after dinner drink I brought back from Italy, made with grappa, chocolate and hazelnuts, if that's ok. MaryAnn and Marie have already started posting entries for the festa, so make sure you click on the links and have a look at all the wonderful recipes.

Stinco di Vitello - recipe courtesy of Cristina De Micheli

"Roasts are easy to prepare and always impressive, and since veal is truly one of the most elegant meats you can serve, this dish is an extra-special treat worthy of your finest holiday menu. Order this particular cut ahead of time from the butcher. It won't be cheap, but it will be delicious. It is the same shin from which your butcher cuts veal ossibuchi. This time he does not need to cut it. You will buy the whole shin."

Ingredients: (Makes 5 servings)

1 veal shin (bone in)
8 juniper berries
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
salt and white pepper
1 glass dry white wine
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. butter
1 cup chicken, veal or beef stock

Season both sides of the veal shin liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the veal, the juniper berries and the rosemary and cook on one side until brown. Then turn over and brown on the other side. Transfer veal to a deep roasting dish and keep cooking on the burner, not the oven. Add the white wine, cook for some minutes on both sides until the wine evaporates. Cover with a lid or aluminum foil, adding some stock constantly (every 15 minutes) until you use all of it. Keep on cooking the shin until it is tender and looks done (two and a half hours). You should be able to detach the bone from the meat easily when it is ready.

Slice the veal shin and serve with roasted potatoes sprinkled with rosemary and salt.


  1. Ciao Chow,
    What's the difference between the shin and the shank?

    May I have the marrow please?

  2. Stacey - The terms shin and shank are interchangeable. Here's the definition given by Wikipedia:
    "A meat shank or shin is the portion of meat around the tibia of the animal, the leg bone beneath the knee."
    And yes, you may have the marrow, but you may have to fight my husband to get it.

  3. This is amazing! I love this! Thanks for joining our festa, Linda :)
    I like the after dinner drink as well. I've never had it but it's calling my name!
    Maryann xox

  4. This looks delicious! Thanks for explaining the difference.

  5. We have relatives in Parma Italy and on our trip there, the anolini was our favorite meal. Did you/ can you get a recipe for anolini. That would be the best thing that happened to me all year.

  6. Anonymous - Yes, I have recipes for the anolini. It's amazing how they vary within Emilia-Romagna. In Piacenza, they traditionally have a meat filling, but in Fiorenzuola/Castell'Arquato, they have a cheese filling. I'll be doing a post about them in the future. They would be a great first course for Easter.

  7. Linda, this look so delicious.

  8. Linda, That looks fall off the bone amazing!! My mouth is watering just looking at this! Everyone will be standing in line for a taste of this at the festa! So glad you're friend could make it too, she is most welcome! It will be so much fun to sip your delicious after dinner drink till way into the night! Thanks so much for joining us!!
    xox, Marie

  9. Thanks Stacey. Can't wait for your recipe for anolini.

  10. This looks so succulent and delicious! My husband adores Osso Bucco so I know he'd love to chow down on this!

    I'd love a glass of that after dinner drink.

  11. Hi Linda

    Yes, Gus' Daughter pickle place is still there! Manhattan's lower east side is doing pretty well -- lots of energy down there and lots of young people living there who can't afford Greenwich Village. It's still wonderfully grungy. I'll be posting more photos soon.

  12. WOW! that looks so good. I'm clipping this recipe and plan to try it real soon.

    The grappa also sounds interesting

  13. Stinco forever! It's very good, to that I can attest!

    Good hearty Italian winter fare.

    Buon appetito!


  14. Linda, you need to tell your readers to ask the butcher to saw off the ends of the shin to expose the marrow - otherwise you won't be able to get it, and that's the whole point of the dish.
    Best wishes, JPH